Photo: Siga / Wikimedia
MSU scientists found that the venom of the spider Heriaeus melloteei can be the basis of drugs for the treatment of hypokalemic periodic paralysis. About it reported in a press release received by the editors”.ru”.
Hypokalemic paralysis is a hereditary disease, which is caused by the leakage of ions in the sodium channel NaV1.4 in the cells of skeletal muscles. Since ions are involved in excitation of muscle cells, the latter cease to adequately respond to signals from the nervous system. As a result of developing weakness to the point of paralysis. Do the “leaks” caused by damage to the channels due to mutations of the genes encoding the respective proteins.
The researchers found that a toxin from the venom of the spider crab can function as a blocker leaks, fixing potential-sensitive portion NaV1.4. To do this, scientists have studied the causes of failure of the sodium channel by using the techniques of genetic and protein engineering, electrophysiology, NMR spectroscopy and computer modeling.
“The opening of this action of the toxin allows us to hope that it is possible to create effective drugs for the treatment of patients with hypokalemic paralysis and other similar ailments,” concludes Alexander Vasilevsky, PhD, Professor of Moscow state University and head of laboratory at the Institute of Bioorganic chemistry.
Video, photo All from Russia.